The Alphas

Traffic was thick even this early in the day.  A line of cars snaked down San Marcos Pass as impatient drivers frequently passed four or five cars at a time in a vain effort to gain a few minutes over the rest. 

Suddenly I felt a hard jolt as a car rammed my truck from the rear.  My pulse raced.  All I could see was a blur of white in my mirror before he hit me again.  I heard Zorro barking in the camper and wondered how soon we could get off this horrible road.

Anger replaced fear as I saw the white car fall back and then gain speed for another onslaught.  I remembered watching stunt drivers play out this scene in movies.  Mike always said the driver should slam on the brakes and let the ramming car take the brunt of the crash—like cars in a demolition derby.  He claimed the rear end of a car could absorb more abuse than the front end.

I braced myself and jammed the brake pedal to the floor.  The crunching jolt was almost satisfying, but my head whipped back into the headrest.  My neck felt sore.  I glanced in the mirror and saw that the white hood looked crumpled and black smoke poured from the engine. 

I stomped on the gas and gained distance while fumbling in my purse for my cell phone.  I really needed to clean out the junk in that mammoth purse!  Flipping open the lid, I saw a blank screen and a “searching for signal” message.  I threw the useless instrument back into the black hole of my purse and glanced into the rear view mirror. 

A knot formed in my stomach as Zorro barked in the camper. 

The white car crept closer, like a tiger stalking its prey.  Suddenly the car veered sharply into the passing lane, and I realized he planned to push me over the edge by hitting me from the side.  I slammed on the brakes again hard, skidding to a stop as the white car shot past.  He barely missed an oncoming car and veered back into our lane before screeching to a halt ahead of me. 

Now what?

Synopsis

Traffic was thick even this early in the day.  A line of cars snaked down San Marcos Pass as impatient drivers frequently passed four or five cars at a time in a vain effort to gain a few minutes over the rest. 

Suddenly I felt a hard jolt as a car rammed my truck from the rear.  My pulse raced.  All I could see was a blur of white in my mirror before he hit me again.  I heard Zorro barking in the camper and wondered how soon we could get off this horrible road.

Anger replaced fear as I saw the white car fall back and then gain speed for another onslaught.  I remembered watching stunt drivers play out this scene in movies.  Mike always said the driver should slam on the brakes and let the ramming car take the brunt of the crash—like cars in a demolition derby.  He claimed the rear end of a car could absorb more abuse than the front end.

I braced myself and jammed the brake pedal to the floor.  The crunching jolt was almost satisfying, but my head whipped back into the headrest.  My neck felt sore.  I glanced in the mirror and saw that the white hood looked crumpled and black smoke poured from the engine. 

I stomped on the gas and gained distance while fumbling in my purse for my cell phone.  I really needed to clean out the junk in that mammoth purse!  Flipping open the lid, I saw a blank screen and a “searching for signal” message.  I threw the useless instrument back into the black hole of my purse and glanced into the rear view mirror. 

A knot formed in my stomach as Zorro barked in the camper. 

The white car crept closer, like a tiger stalking its prey.  Suddenly the car veered sharply into the passing lane, and I realized he planned to push me over the edge by hitting me from the side.  I slammed on the brakes again hard, skidding to a stop as the white car shot past.  He barely missed an oncoming car and veered back into our lane before screeching to a halt ahead of me. 

Now what?

Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she started her own dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner; she sold real estate, started an office supply/copy center, and performed free-lance advertising design.